The Cotswolds offers a wide variety of lovely Christmas events taking place throughout November and December. Some of these events are pretty incredible and not to be missed.
Blenheim Palace Christmas Market
Blenheim Palace, for example, just outside of Oxford, has a small market within its Great Court selling hot drinks, edible treats and gifts. But the big draw to Blenheim is its awe inspiring winter illuminated trail through the grounds. The trail changes every year and is an absolute must-see if you are visiting in the area, or even just want to escape London mayhem. It is such a Christmassy feel good activity for children and adults alike. Tickets go fast and if you are traveling independently, book asap. You need to book separate car parking tickets too.
How do I get there?
The average bus between Oxford and Woodstock takes 30 minutes. The bus runs at least 3 times per hour from Oxford to Woodstock. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays. Bus Times Get on at Oxford City Centre Magdalen St. Get off at Woodstock Blenheim Palace.
This Blenheim travel site may be helpful too.
From the Blenheim Website:
The after-dark illuminated trail sparkling in The Great Outdoors
Firmly positioned as one of the highlights of the UK festive calendar, wander the Palace’s picture-perfect gardens filled with Christmas cheer as over a million lights and seasonal sounds fill the air.
The Christmas Market
The Christmas Market will be returning in 2022, with many designer/maker craft traders who will be housed in wooden chalets in the Great Court. Their distinctive range of artisan products will make perfect treats and gifts this Christmas.
The Christmas Market will be open at 10.30 each day between 18th November – 18th December 2022 with the exception of 5th December which will open at 11.30. On nights the illuminated trail is taking place, the market will close at 20.30 and on non-illuminated trail nights, the market will close at 17.30.
All tickets to Blenheim must be purchased in advance.
2. Cogges Christmas Market
As a complete alternative to Blenheim, you could instead go to one of the lesser known markets, such as Cogges Manor Farm or Ramsden Village. Both of these are set in gorgeous Cotswold locations with stunning village life backdrops. The markets offer high quality products, inexpensive entry tickets, and lots and lots of good cheer and authentic English country Christmas fun. Great to soak some atmosphere and people watch whilst sipping on your warming mug of mulled wine.
Cogges is an ancient farmstead with wonderful old barns and a manor house, which has been decorated for Christmas. Sometimes staff dress up in Victorian costume and bake in the old kitchen of the Manor. It is so atmospheric. I used to come here as a child and now bring my own children. It is a little bit of magic for me. Also, Cogges has featured several time in the Downton Abbey series and recent films.
26 Nov 2022 - 27 Nov 2022
10:00 - 16:00
How do I get there?
From the Cogges Website:
Cogges Christmas Market
Enjoy a weekend of festive cheer in the 18th century barns and farmyard at Cogges Manor Farm, including:
over 50 stalls selling unique, hand-made gifts, food and drink, all locally produced
mulled wine, mince pies, and music
Access to the Manor House ground floor themed for a Victorian Christmas
Santa's grotto in the stable (extra charge for this)
Cogges Kitchen cafe open from 9am until 4pm
3. Ramsden Christmas Market
Ramsden is a beautiful village, far from the tourist circuit. It is a seemingly affluent area, every house in the village is pretty, and the pub serves great food.
Saturday 3rd December 2022, 1pm - 4pm
TICKETS are £3 (under 16 free)
How do I get there?
Map. Ramsden is 4 miles outside of Witney. You do need a car for this one, sorry. (Or I can take you).
From the Ramsden village website:
This year the Market will be spread across three venues, all within seconds of each other. The well-ventilated and heated Main Marquee will be in Shucklett’s Paddock in the centre of the village and will contain stalls selling high-quality and individual crafts, presents, Christmas decorations, wreaths and food. There will also be mulled wine and raffles and hamper draws.
Just over the road in the Memorial Hall, you can relax with some tea and cakes, and there will be additional stalls selling produce and cakes to take away. Almost opposite the Hall is the Royal Oak pub which will have more stalls and will also be offering festive food and drink. In total we expect to have around 50 stalls.
There is lots of free parking close by, and disabled parking close to the Marquee field. Dogs on leads, and children are all welcome, and there will be plenty for the kiddies to do. There will also be colouring books and crayons in the Memorial Hall. There will be level access into all three venues, but bear in mind that the Marquee is in a field so the ground may be a little rough.
The vast majority of stalls will be able to take credit and debit card payments.
4. Woodstock Christmas Market
The town of Woodstock, next to Blenheim Palace is a lovely small town, with a good variety of clothing and gift shops, pubs and hotels. It is a delightful place to spend the evening when the night of 1000 candles are lit (switched on!). The church opens up as the market stall venue and is packed full of locally produced goodies. I highly recommend going here. It is an easy destination to get to from Oxford and London.
Cogges is an ancient farmstead with wonderful old barns and a manor house, which has been decorated for Christmas. Sometimes staff dressan costume and bake in the old kitchen of the Manor. It is so atmospheric. I used to come here as a child and now bring my own children. It is a little bit of magic for me. Also, Cogges has featured several times in the Downton Abbey series and recent films.
Saturday 26 November 2022
How do I get there?
The average bus between Oxford and Woodstock takes 30 minutes. The bus runs at least 3 times per hour from Oxford to Woodstock. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays. Bus Times Get on at Oxford City Centre Magdalen St. Get off at Woodstock. It's a small enough place, you'll see.
From The Oxford Magazine Website:
Residents and visitors are warmly invited to A Night of a Thousand Candles in Market Place, Woodstock on Saturday, 26 November.
This free-to-attend event is held to celebrate the town’s Christmas lights switch-on with live music, a short panto (oh yes, there is!), school choir, food and drink, and, of course, a visit from the main man himself – Father Christmas.
A Night of a Thousand Candles will run alongside the Woodstock Festive Fayre, which will be open all day till 7.00pm at the St Mary Magdalene Church in Woodstock so residents and guests can shop for Christmas while supporting small independent businesses.
5. Oxford Christmas Market
Strictly speaking, Oxford is not in the Cotswolds, but if you are staying in Oxford, which is near to the Cotswolds, you should definitely check out the lovely market, which is located in beautiful Broad Street. Various activities are on throughout November and December, so follow the link to see what is happening when.
1- 18 December 2022
How do I get there?
Trains run regularly into Oxford from London Paddington. It is a 20 minute walk from the train station into the city centre.
From the Oxford Christmas Market website:
The city of dreaming spires will again be filled with festive joy as the Oxford Christmas Market returns to the heart of the city on beautiful and historic Broad Street in 2022.
With the sound of choirs singing Christmas carols, market traders offering unusual and handmade gifts, colourful decorations brightening wooden stalls and the aroma of mulled wine and cinnamon drifting in the air - a visit to the Oxford Christmas Market is a truly magical Christmas experience.